Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Entree


Part One


“Soup or Salad?”
--Anonymous


“I'm famished. When are we going to eat?”

Sylvia looked up from her book at her husband standing in the doorway. Why does he always have to be like this? One of the reasons they were still together was due to his persistent need to always get what he wants.

Her eyelids fell heavy as the acid dripped from her lips.

“What shall we eat, dear?”

Sylvia hated him. His presence was a knife that shivered through her skull every time he entered the room. His sweaty glistening forehead was growing larger each day and the brain beneath that shine grew more useless. He padded his belly with an insider trading appetite for filet mignon and mutton stew and online escort services, his ever shrinking hooded scepter disappearing from her life. No complaints there, it had never been of much use anyway. Couldn't provide a child or an orgasm if his life depended on it. She should count her blessings, especially now that he began to carry a strange unrecognizable odor.

At first she thought, or hoped at least, that it was the smell of the unwell, maybe a sickness that would take him from this world, but once the odor grew and began to permeate every eave of their home, Sylvia understood that her thoughts of chivalry, of her knight of the diseased order, were not to be fulfilled. The stench that her husband of ten years began to acquire was simply the sweet scent of success, the smell of those who feel that they deserve everything that the universe has given them. It was the perfume of privilege and the more that Sylvia sensed it in her nostrils the more it smelled of coiled and burning fat, hearty and rich, lathered with the proper dose of oily perspiration. It quite often made her gag.

She recalled his aroma from their years at Cornell. It was more the sour and acrid taste of desperation, or perhaps it was determination, the two weren't so far from each other on the periodic scale after all. Although, now that she thought about it, it seemed like this new scent had always been inside his skin waiting for the opportune moment to come out. Even when her desire for him cloaked all of his disturbing predilections, in the back of her mind there was a warning flash that echoed like the dull ache of a migraine that hasn't quite caught hold. She was young and foolish, like everyone else who grew up with the promise that this godforsaken place will take care of you, that your dreams are bound to come true so long as you watch enough television and discovered what it is you were supposed to be dreaming of in the first place. He bought her beautiful things and took her to swanky places and introduced her to the wealthy, and all of her princess visions swarmed through her mind with the misguided touch of enticement and the poisonous taste of decay. She fell under the spell of what he had to offer until it was too late to see that all he was offering was misery and the slow death of being compartmentalized. She was simply another item in his collection of privileged pieces, priceless until the cost of the divorce would tally her true worth.

Uuuuuughhh, how much longer would she have to wait?

Sylvia shuddered at the thought of the years that still lay before her. He wasn't large enough for a separation, wasn't at that obscene section of the privileged trough, wasn't gorging himself on the innards of those less fortunate than him. Not yet. He was still learning how to truly devour, to emaciate the landscape around him and eventually discover the ultimate gift of all great economic predators. How to cover his tracks? Because he didn't want to end up like Ken Lay, dead in disgrace, face down in a jail cell while the press pissed all over his carcass. No, it didn't have to be that way, people got away with it everyday and the keys to the kingdom were only available to those who were very committed. Sylvia knew that her husband was one of those people, learned it long ago when their marriage was more about her guests than the two of them and in order for him to reach the peak, he needed a devoted spouse to help him smile before the onslaught of vultures who would do anything to take him down. She was the ultimate shine of jewelry that he'd purchased to fit on his left arm. It didn't take much effort on her part to become accustomed to that role.

But she hated it and she hated him with every ounce of her soul. Every day she contemplated the choice between taking him down and destroying all that he worked for or suffering through the muck of their marriage until her big payday. Both visions offered treasure, one material and the other complete psychic bliss. Either way she would have to wait, it just depended on how long that wait was going to be? He was too small after all, puny on the hook and would be thrown back if she took the bait too soon. He couldn't continue to breathe, to go on living while she threw herself upon the blade. No, if she was going to bring him down, she wouldn't go to her demise alone.

She kept her eyes on the page of her book, though she didn't see a word, as the lasers from his eyes tried to burn through her defenses. She softly practiced her mediative breathing and composed her heart into blankness. Having too much time on her hands was bound to be good for something.

His voice was shaking with control when he finally spoke to her.

“I hear there's a great new restaurant down in the Valley.”

Her eyes were dead when she looked up at him.

“And who did you hear this from?”

“The new receptionist.”

But his eyes flickered down for a brief instant and she knew right away that the receptionist was actually one of his whores. There was always a new receptionist wasn't there? No need to address that issue.

“Hmmm, what kind of food did she say?”

Oh, but why bother asking, it was bound to be another steakhouse.

“It's a steakhouse, but apparently this one's supposed to be special.”

She could feel her stomach clenching up at the thought of endlessly chewing on red meat. For chrissakes, there better be a decent salad at this place! Placing her book on the side table, she stood up and turned to him.

“Sounds very nice dear.”

“Uh, you're not going dressed like that. Are you?”


(go to part two)

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1 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

bravo. quiero mas.

12:20 AM  

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